Send to

Choose Destination
RNA Biol. 2010 May-Jun;7(3):305-9. Epub 2010 May 26.

Dampening DNA binding: a common mechanism of transcriptional repression for both ncRNAs and protein domains.

Author information

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA.


With eukaryotic non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) now established as critical regulators of cellular transcription, the true diversity with which they can elicit biological effects is beginning to be appreciated. Two ncRNAs, mouse B2 RNA and human Alu RNA, have been found to repress mRNA transcription in response to heat shock. They do so by binding directly to RNA polymerase II, assembling into complexes on promoter DNA, and disrupting contacts between the polymerase and the DNA. Such a mechanism of repression had not previously been observed for a eukaryotic ncRNA; however, there are examples of eukaryotic protein domains that repress transcription by blocking essential protein-DNA interactions. Comparing the mechanism of transcriptional repression utilized by these protein domains to that used by B2 and Alu RNAs raises intriguing questions regarding transcriptional control, and how B2 and Alu RNAs might themselves be regulated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center